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Median nerve mechanosensitivity reduced by acupuncture: Randomized trial

A study published in the journal Acupuncture in Medicine looked at the immediate effects of acupuncture on the mechanosensitivity of the median nerve. The study was carried out by researchers from the Polytechnic Institute of Leiria (Instituto Politecnico de Leiria) and the University of Porto (Universidade do Porto) in Portugal.

  • Animal studies show that acupuncture can reduce mechanosensitivity of peripheral nerves.
  • In this study, the researchers examined whether acupuncture would exhibit the same effect in humans.
  • The researchers recruited 31 asymptomatic individuals.
  • They measured the participants’ mechanosensitivity of the median nerve by the elbow extension range-of-motion (EE–ROM) at pain onset and maximum tolerance during the upper limb neurodynamic test 1 (ULNT1).
  • In addition, they tested the effects of two different points – LU5 and PC5 – in ULNT1 responses.
  • The participants received acupuncture either on the LU5 acupuncture point or PC5 acupuncture point.
  • The results showed that after acupuncture, the mean EE–ROM at pain onset and maximum tolerance increased with no differences between the LU5 and PC5 groups.

In sum, acupuncture immediately reduces the mechanosensitivity of the median nerve as seen in the increase in EE–ROM during the ULNT1.

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Journal Reference:

Morais N, Greten HJ, Santos MJ, Machado JP. IMMEDIATE EFFECTS OF ACUPUNCTURE ON THE MECHANOSENSITIVITY OF THE MEDIAN NERVE: AN EXPLORATORY RANDOMISED TRIAL. Acupuncture in Medicine. June 2018; 36(3): 132-138. DOI: 10.1136%2Facupmed-2016-011357

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